Ben Askren hip surgery successful, plans to wrestle next year

Former Bellator MMA and ONE champion Ben Askren retired from the latter organization in 2017, and returned in 2019 as part of a unique trade – the UFC got him and ONE got GOAT contender Demetrious Johnson. In his UFC debut “Funky” beat Robbie Lawler via submission, albeit with a degree of controversy. Then he suffered the fastest KO loss in league history vs. Jorge Masvidal. And then Demian Maia put him to sleep.

Askren retired again, but after undergoing successful hip surgery that was less invasive than a full hip replacement, Askren might return once again.

“It’s called a Birmingham hip,” said Askren. “What they do is get it all cleaned up, they cap the top of it, clean up the inside, put something on the inside, but yeah. I’m pain-free but there was a whole bunch of other things: I knew a bunch of pain on my one side, and my range of motion was tied to my hip issue, but I had all kinds of back problems.

“The day after the surgery, it was just gone. It was wild. I wasn’t anticipating that. I just thought I had a bad back because I wrestled my whole life, and the morning after my surgery I woke up and my back pain was gone. I thought maybe it was because I was on pain pills, but it just never came back.”

“It’s one of those things that when you’re in it, you just feel like this is how it is. You don’t think about it much and you just accept that it’s the way it is. Now that I feel good, it’s like that’s the way that I am. It’s tremendous.”

But does the hip feel tremendous enough to return to fighting?

“I would say, never say never,” said Askren. “I think it’s unlikely, but I’m gonna wrestle next year. Not WWE wrestle, but real wrestle. I need a reason to train and stay in shape. I love eating ice cream and everything else. I haven’t got on a scale in a year. I haven’t gotten on a scale since I fought Demian Maia over a year ago.

“If I don’t have a good reason to get on the scale, I’m not getting on the scale and I know that ain’t great for my health. I’m not super obese, but I’m definitely not in great shape right now and I can’t really train. I can ride a bike right now, that’s about all I can do with my hip but give me a few more months and I’ll be able to start getting on the mat. I’ll be able to start lightly doing some stuff.

“I’m definitely going to try and get some wrestling matches next year just so I can have a reason to stay in shape and I’m at the wrestling academy five days a week anyways, so it won’t change that much.”

“My doctor doesn’t think that anyone has had the surgery and then fought professionally afterwards. He’s done a few golfers, and he’s done like 950 of these. He’s one of the preeminent guys that does them. I want to say he’s done The Undertaker, or something like that.

“And that’s one of the reasons I was excited about this specific surgery because if you do the full hip replacement, you don’t do s***. You can’t run, you can’t wrestle, you can’t grapple, you’re out on everything. With the surgery that I got, I should be able to be full go after a year.”

“The whole last couple of years seems like a blur—from the un-retirement, to the retirement, to the fighting again—and then this year, 2020 for everybody has been pretty wild with everything going on.”

h/t Mike Heck for MMA Fighting

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